November 29, 2023 in ARTICLES
How a Neutral Supply Chain Partner Can Enhance Your Business
By Ernst Martens, Supply Chain Development Manager at APL Logistics
In today’s dynamic and interconnected global marketplace, supply chain management has become increasingly crucial to securing a competitive edge. That starts with the service provider.
Traditionally, asset-heavy global logistic service providers have held significant control over the logistics landscape. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this became particularly evident, as disruptions paired with a surge in demand drove prices to unprecedented levels.
As a result, global logistics giants raked in record profits. Though they provide a range of logistics services, these companies tend to engage in bundled selling, often prioritizing their own assets and interests over the needs of their customers. This has ignited a debate: Are integrated supply chains with a single provider the optimal decision?
Neutral supply chain partners, like APL Logistics, have emerged as vital enablers of efficient and resilient supply chains. With the ability to aggregate vast amounts of data from a customer’s 3rd party business partners and the expertise to orchestrate the order planning and shipment execution, they’re ushering in a transformative shift. Placing customer-centricity, collaboration, and trust at the forefront of global logistics operations.
How can a neutral supply chain partner enhance your supply chain?
Customer-centric rather than asset-centric
Logistics companies with significant asset investments tend to give priority to those assets and interests. Their logistical decisions may not align with customers’ evolving needs and preferences.
In contrast, neutral supply chain partners serve as impartial entities that focus on creating value-added ecosystem – empowering customers to make optimal financial and ethical decisions for their supply chain. By collaborating with these neutral supply chain partners, organizations can tap into a customer-centric approach that prioritizes comprehending and fulfilling their distinct supply chain needs.
Ability to build more agile supply chains
With globalization, technological advancements, and changing customer demands, supply chains are constantly evolving. Adapting to these changes requires agile supply chain operations. Global logistics companies can be burdened by their fixed assets and infrastructure and struggle to adapt swiftly to changing market conditions.
To stay competitive, customers require flexible and scalable solutions. Neutral supply chain partners enable organizations to respond rapidly to market fluctuations, emerging trends, and unforeseen disruptions. By leveraging their expertise and network, these supply chain partners can achieve greater agility and resilience in supply chains so customers can seize new opportunities and mitigate risks effectively.
Optimized and more efficient
An agile supply chain also requires greater optimization and efficiency. Supply chain partners like APL Logistics possess extensive knowledge, expertise, and technological capabilities to drive efficiency across the supply chain operations. They have a broader focus because they don’t have their own assets, leading to better financial outcomes for the customer.
Neutral supply chain partners can leverage their position to select the most suitable carriers, warehouses, and distribution channels, ensuring cost-effective and efficient logistics processes – giving organizations higher operational efficiency, cost savings, and improved resource utilization.
More collaborative networks
The most robust supply chains require collaboration. Global logistics companies frequently prioritize their internal resources and processes, whilst neutral supply chain partners can excel in building collaborative networks. Their vantage point allows them to connect various stakeholders and integrate disparate supply chain activities.
This collaboration, facilitated by the neutral supply chain partner:
- Enhances visibility, communication, and coordination among suppliers, carriers, manufacturers, distributors, and customer
- Improves the flow of products from point of source to point of delivery
- Streamlines information flows
- Synchronizes activities across the supply chain, leading to improved overall performance, resilience and enhanced competitiveness
Why neutrality is an asset to your supply chain
Neutrality is increasingly becoming crucial differentiator of global supply chain management. Neutrality revolutionizes traditional practices, facilitating a shift in mindset away from the infrastructure and assets of a service provider to unlock a supply chain’s full potential. Organizations can embrace agility, optimize operations, and foster collaboration through neutral supply chain orchestrators.
These partnerships grant businesses greater control and flexibility, allowing them to gain valuable insights into costs and CO2 emissions so that they are equipped to make optimal financial and ethical decisions for their supply chain. This yields enhanced resilience, dynamism, efficient resource allocation, cost reduction, and improved sustainability.
How can APL Logistics boost your supply chain?
We’re committed to providing our customers with innovative, global supply chain solutions. Scalable for every project and adaptable for every need, our tailor-made insights help you optimize, reduce costs, and create a more resilient supply chain. Contact us today to learn more about how we can bring our technologically driven neutral supply chain logistics to your company.